The use of data to track progress toward community-wide goals is integral to all we do. We begin by identifying a set of partnership level outcomes that are important to the success and well-being of children and youth. For each of these outcomes, we then choose a core indicator – a specific data point that can be measured county-wide and monitored from year to year to track progress toward our goals.
Monitored indicators are also measured in order to understand underlying causes for trends we see in core indicators, and to directly evaluate the impact of specific programs and interventions.
Based on the data, Collaborative Action Networks (CANs) set goals (short- and long-term) for the changes we hope to see as a result of the work; and then devise strategies for reaching those goals. The outputs of CAN work are the set of activities completed in implementation of strategies.
Finally, we circle back to partnership level outcomes and examine the data again. Did we see improvement in core or monitored indicators?
The process of continuous improvement means cycling through each of these steps – measuring data, setting new/revised goals, adjusting strategies, taking action, and then measuring data again.